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The Benefit of Burdens

Isn’t it true?  Don’t we wish for a life that had no burdens, no problems, no stresses, and no anxieties?  We measure days off or vacation days as “GREAT” if we can do only what we want and have no interruptions, no pressures, and no concerns to afflict us.  That sounds like it would be wonderful.  Or would it?

None of us seek or delight in tragedies or heartbreak.  That is not what anyone desires for themselves or anyone else.  However, life’s daily pressures and stresses are what keep us focused and effective in doing the tasks that we can do to help others and to grow in grace ourselves. There is no great fulfillment when we only take care of our needs.  But, when reaching out to someone else in kindness and love, our lives are enriched immensely.  When we are God’s ambassador to offer comfort in times of grief, financial and physical help in times of disaster, food for the hungry, and clothes to the needy….we are the beneficiary. The appreciation of the recipient and the smile of God upon us is beyond “price”!  We are most like our LORD when we are demonstrating love, mercy, grace, and compassion on those that are struggling.

Shortly after coming to Christ, Sadhu Sundar, a Hindu convert to Christ, felt called to become a missionary to India. Late one afternoon Sadhu was traveling on foot through the Himalayas with a Buddhist monk. It was bitterly cold and the wind felt like sharp blades slicing into Sadhu’s skin. Night was approaching fast when the monk warned Sadhu that they were in danger of freezing to death if they did not reach the monastery before darkness fell.

Just as they were traversing a narrow path above a steep cliff, they heard a cry for help. Down the cliff lay a man, fallen and badly hurt. The monk looked at Sadhu and said, “Do not stop. God has brought this man to his fate. He must work it out for himself.” Then he quickly added while walking on, “Let us hurry on before we , too, perish.”  But Sadhu replied, “God has sent me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him.”

The monk continued trudging off through the whirling snow, while the missionary clambered down the steep embankment. The man’s leg was broken and he could not walk. So Sadhu took his blanket and made a sling of it and tied the man on his back. Then, bending under his burden, he began a body-torturing climb. By the time he reached the narrow path again, he was drenched in perspiration. 

Doggedly, he made his way through the deepening snow and darkness. It was all he could do to follow the path. But he persevered, though faint with fatigue and overheated from exertion. Finally he saw ahead the lights of the monastery.  Then, for the first time, Sadhu stumbled and nearly fell. But not from weakness. He had stumbled over an object lying in the snow-covered road. Slowly he bent down on one knee and brushed the snow off the object. It was the body of the monk, frozen to death.

Years later a disciple of Sadhu’s asked him, “What is life’s most difficult task?”  Without hesitation Sadhu replied: “To have no burden to carry.”  (Copied).